In an exhilarating match at the Estádio Municipal de Albufeira, Albufeira in Portugal, the Super Eagles of Nigeria secured their first victory in a friendly game in five years. Despite an early setback with Mozambique taking the lead through Geny Catamo’s goal just seven minutes into the game, Terem Moffi of OGC Nice swiftly equalized for Nigeria, leveling the score at 1-1.
Nigeria continued to dominate the game, and their efforts paid off when Frank Onyeka of Brentford seized an opportunity at the edge of the box, firing home the second goal for the Eagles, putting them ahead 2-1.
Mozambique faced further challenges as they were reduced to ten men after a foul on Joe Aribo in the 37th minute. Nigeria capitalized on the advantage, earning a penalty when Fisayo Dele-Bashiru’s free-kick was handled by a Mozambique player. Simon Moses calmly converted the penalty, extending Nigeria’s lead to 3-1. The referee signaled half-time, with Nigeria comfortably in control.
The second half saw both teams pressing for more goals, and Mozambique managed to narrow the deficit when Faisal Abdul Bangal beat Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho, making it 3-2. Nigeria made strategic substitutions, with Real Sociedad’s Sadiq Umar coming on.
Although Umar thought he had scored twice, his goals were ruled offside. Despite the late efforts from Mozambique, the Super Eagles held their ground and secured the victory, ending their five-year winless streak in friendly matches. This crucial win comes after Nigeria’s heartbreak against Saudi Arabia, where they were on the verge of victory until Mohammed Kanno’s deflected freekick in the dying moments resulted in a 2-2 draw.
With this newfound momentum, Nigeria now shifts its focus to the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. They are set to face Lesotho’s Crocodiles at home on November 13, 2023, followed by a battle against Zimbabwe’s Warriors three days later, aiming to continue their winning streak and secure their spot in the prestigious tournament.
IMAGE: All Nigeria Soccer